Source: KRGV News
International Food Safety Documentation Tossed to the Wind
Gildardo Lopez, president of Reynosa Livestock Association, said studies showed that horse meat is cheaper than beef. He said Mexican consumers pay up to $13 for two pounds of beef, compared to the $7 they would spend on horse meat.
“We’re trying to focus on helping the low to middle class citizens,” Lopez said. “The high prices of beef increased significantly. In the world market it went up about 300 percent. Our alternative is to sacrifice horses for human consumption.”
Lopez said horses between the ages of 3 to 5 will be target for human consumption. The first animal will be prepared at a local slaughter house on Wednesday.
On Friday, the livestock association will invite the public to a Reynosa meat market, where they will offer a variety of dishes for consumers to try for free. They will also provide nutritional information.
“Studies show horse meat is nutritious,” Lopez said. “It doesn’t have grease. It’s low in cholesterol. It’s high in protein and rich in iron and other vitamins.”
Officials said it will likely take a while before local residents buy in on the concept of consuming horse meat.
The process of educating the public will be essential.
“We’re not going to fool anybody,” Lopez said. “We’re not going to start businesses and not tell people what they’re buying. They’ll know if it’s horse meat.”
Lopez said residents are already doing research on their own. They’re going online and checking out other countries that sell horse meat.
Gildardo Lopez said about 20 percent of people talking about the it are in support of horse meat consumption. He said he expects the number to grow.
The meat market that will offer the free sample is located on Heron Ramirez Street in Reynosa. They will be sampling on Friday from noon to 4 p.m.
Cynthia Martinez, a registered dietician, said she isn’t familiar with horse meat and would look into it’s nutritional values.
People cannot cross horse meat from Mexico to the United States through cargo or passenger lanes at any port of entry. The meat can only be enterable from foot and mouth disease-free countries like Canada and New Zealand. Argentina and Paraguay are also approved countries, because they have horse meat inspection systems that are approved by the USDA.
Consumers can learn more about horse meat through the USDA website.